Music Review—Man Out of Time

Artist: Friendly Rich
Album: Man Out of Time

Canadian songwriter, Friendly Rich, has released his newest LP Man Out of Time.  The album is available for streaming anywhere you get your music.

Hailing from Oakville, Ontario, Friendly Rich has composed background music for three seasons of MTV’s The Tom Green Show as well as a myriad of tunes as The Lollipop People released on his own eclectic record label, The Pumpkin Pie Corporation.  On top of his musical career, Friendly Rich also just completed his PhD in Music Education from the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Dr. Lee Bartel.  His doctoral research was on musical playgrounds as a vehicle for community development.

Of the album, Friendly Rich says, “I really enjoyed making this record, flexing a new collaborative muscle in the process, sharing files internationally, and pulling it all together.  The last recording I released before the pandemic was ‘We Are All Terrorists’, a recording that featured over 75 guest musicians, recorded in several studios in Quebec and Ontario.  From there, I was wanting to get more insular in my approach anyhow—what I was deeming a return to the days, when I’d record naked in my parents’ basement.  Then the pandemic happened, and, voila, I present you…Man Out of Time.”

Man Out of Time consists of sixteen tracks: Man Out of Time; Moi, Mes Soldiers; Le P’tit Bonheur; Killdozer; Kiddos & Doggos; Wheels, You’ve Got Strong Legs, Pt.  3; Notre Sentier; Alone on the Bus; Salvation Mountain; Fluffy Clouds; Fomo Yodo; Mother of Tongues; Bozo; Orca Whale; A Reasonable Man; Thanks for All the Fish.  The songs “Man Out of Time” and “Killdozer” have music videos available on YouTube.

Friendly Rich describes his music as “dark and deranged folk songs in the vein of Leonard Cohen or Captain Beefheart”.  After listening to the album, I would have to agree.  Friendly Rich combines folk and blues rock with horror elements to create something that borders on unsettling (and I think that’s what he’s going for!).  Specifically, songs such as “Mother of Tongues”, “A Reasonable Man”, and “Alone on the Bus” sound particularly warped.  While Friendly Rich doesn’t exactly sing in many of his songs, he used a deep, gravely, slow voice to contribute to the eerie vibes.

While the album certainly isn’t my cup of tea, the only aspect that I really take issue with is the track, “Killdozer”.  For those who don’t know, “Killdozer” references the 2004 bulldozer rampage in Granby, Colorado—where Marvin Heemeyer destroyed 13 buildings and caused millions of dollars in damages with a home-made armoured bulldozer, and ultimately ended with Heemeyer taking his own life, all because of a series of petty disputes between Heemeyer and Granby town officials.

As if this story isn’t disturbing enough, Heemeyer’s story is being revived in extreme libertarian circles by people who believe Heemeyer to be a hero for fighting against the government.  One blogger refers to Heemeyer as a “good man pushed beyond reason”, while another says Heemeyer was “living the American dream of crushing your enemies beneath the treads of your bad*** f****** awesome home-made tank”.  This is all despite the fact the Heemeyer was obviously suffering from delusions of grandeur often seen in mental health crises.  In pre-recorded tapes Heemeyer sent to his brother before shutting himself inside the bulldozer, he claims to be acting in accordance with God’s will, saying: “God blessed me in advance for the task that I am about to undertake.  It is my duty.  God has asked me to do this.  It’s a cross that I am going to carry and I’m carrying it in God’s name”.

The song “Killdozer” is performed from Heemeyer’s perspective, with lyrics like, “You rained on the wrong parade” and “Everybody in the town is going down”.  I can’t imagine how I would feel about this song if I were one of Heemeyer’s family members, or if I or someone I knew lived in the town of Granby when the incident took place.  Personally, I think there are a million things to write a song about—this is just unnecessary.

Overall, I wasn’t a fan of Man Out of Time, but you can check out Friendly Rich on his website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.